Your Child's Development From 6 to 12 Years

This information describes the skills your child is likely to develop between the ages of 6 and 12 years.

Movement and Physical Development

  • Enjoys many different activities.
  • Practices skills in order to get better.
  • Has good coordination.
  • Can jump rope.
  • Can ride a bike.
  • Can skip.
  • Can chase.
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Social-Emotional and Self-Help Skills

  • Can get dressed without help.
  • Pays more attention to friendships and teamwork.
  • Wants to please friends (experiences peer pressure).
  • Becomes aware of own body image.
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Learning, Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills

  • 6 to 9 years of age
    • Can tell time.
    • Can understand directions that have multiple steps.
    • Knows the day, month, and year.
  • 9 to 12 years of age
    • Enjoys collecting things.
    • Can write stories.
    • Enjoys using the telephone, computer, and other electronic devices.
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Speech, Language, and Communication Skills

  • Uses complete sentences.


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What You Can Do to Help Your Child’s Development

Although your child is undergoing cancer treatment and may not feel energetic, it is still important to encourage movement, communication, and play as part of their daily routine. Here are some things you can do:

  • Let your child be as independent as possible with self-care tasks and school activities.
  • Give your child choices and encourage them to complete a task.
  • Provide structure and a regular schedule.
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Call Your Child’s Doctor If Your Child:

  • Shows only a limited range of emotions.
  • Shows extreme behavior (such as if they are unusually fearful, aggressive, shy, or sad).
  • Is unusually withdrawn and not active.
  • Is easily distracted and has trouble focusing on 1 activity for more than 5 minutes.
  • Doesn’t respond to people.
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe.
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities.
  • Can’t give first and last name.
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly.
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences.
  • Doesn’t draw pictures.
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help.
  • Loses skills they once had.
  • Doesn’t like to change position.
  • Doesn’t like minor changes in environment (such as noise level or lighting).
  • Doesn’t feel comfortable trying to balance on different types of surfaces.
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Contact Information

If you have questions about your child’s development, ask your child’s doctor if you need a referral to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s (MSK) Physical and Occupational Therapy

You can reach MSK’s Physical and Occupational Therapy Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm at 212-639-7833.

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